Electrolytes refer to minerals that perform an electrical charge when mixed with water. Even though only a small percentage of people know the term and its meaning, electrolytes are essential to our bodies as they help regulate a variety of bodily functions, including nerve signaling, pH balance, hydration and muscle contraction.
The main electrolytes that our bodies use to support all these functions are sodium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, chloride, and bicarbonate. Since the concentration of electrolytes in the blood and bodily fluids is maintained in a very tight range, when the electrolyte content becomes too high or too low, you can experience several health issues.
We lose electrolytes naturally through sweat and other waste products on a daily basis. This is why it is critical to regularly replenish their level through a mineral-rich diet or supplements. However, some activities or situations, including intensive workouts, diarrhea or vomiting, can increase the number of electrolyte loss, meaning we should also get an increased number through specialized products and supplements.
The Different Electrolytes
Our bodies need several minerals to maintain good wellness, energy and hydration levels. Today there are four key electrolytes we all need to keep a good balance, including:
- Sodium and chloride (responsible for fluid balance);
- Potassium (prevents cramping);
- Calcium (maintains muscle contractions and heart rhythm);
- Magnesium (helps in relaxing muscles).
Bicarbonates are also used as electrolytes since they can assist in preventing fatigue at early stages by enhancing endurance to push on. All these elements work together to balance your mineral levels and contribute to optimal bodily function.
Are Electrolyte-Rich Drinks the Best Sources of Electrolytes in the Daily Diet?
Since the wellness market develops with immense speed, consumers now can choose how they want to get those electrolytes from a vast range of supplements, like Electrolyte drinks. While it is easier and more efficient in some cases, the best source of these elements is a healthy diet rich in whole foods as well as fruits and vegetables.
What Can Cause an Electrolyte Imbalance?
An electrolyte imbalance is usually caused by the following factors:
- Losing fluids from persistent vomiting, diarrhea, sweating and fever;
- Lack of food and water during the day;
- Chronic respiratory problems;
- Higher blood pH than it should be;
- Consumption of drugs like steroids, diuretics and laxatives.
To keep your electrolyte balance in check, it is recommended to stay hydrated and have a healthy diet rich in electrolytes, such as spinach, turkey, potatoes, avocados, beans, oranges, strawberries and bananas.
There is a small chance of overdosing with electrolytes from the diet, except for sodium. In addition, if you have any health issues with your kidneys, the risk is growing. However, poor-quality supplements packed with electrolytes can cause problems — for instance, too much calcium in the diet can increase your risk of kidney stones. This is why it is vital to discuss the use of any supplements with a healthcare provider.
Are Electrolyte Drinks Beneficial?
Even though electrolyte drinks aren’t usually necessary for everyday use, there are some occasions when they are an excellent way to prevent dehydration. If you feel an electrolyte imbalance and can’t replenish the needed level with a healthy diet or want to speed up the process, electrolyte drinks like those from fulcompany.com are the solution.
Dehydration is a dangerous situation for our bodies which increases the stress level on your heart, makes exercise more difficult, and also affects your overall well-being and mood. It is especially vital for professional athletes to maintain good electrolyte balance since those sports people who lose two per cent of their body weight from water loss can experience reduced sports performance and cognitive decline. Therefore, the following people can benefit from electrolyte drinks.
People Who Can Benefit From Electrolyte Drinks
Professional athletes who engage in strenuous exercise for over an hour and those who include intense intervals are the ones who can greatly benefit from using electrolyte drinks to prevent dehydration. Specialized drinks containing electrolytes and small amounts of carbohydrates have been shown to improve the rate at which your cells take in sodium and water, which makes it easier for bodies to rehydrate. Since these drinks are usually packed with flavorings, they also allow users to drink more with higher satisfaction.
Athletes Exercising in Warm Weather
Since fluid loss happens when we sweat, those athletes who usually exercise in warm weather or outside can benefit from adding the best electrolyte drink to their sports regimen.
If you are going to a place with a high altitude and you are not adjusted to it yet, it can result in an electrolyte imbalance and dehydration. This is where taking electrolyte drinks with you can assist your health and overall well-being.
People Losing Fluid When Sick
As we mentioned, fluid loss is common when we are sick and lose water via feces and vomiting. So when we lose excess fluid due to an illness, electrolyte drinks can help us quickly replenish the needed levels. It is also recommended to discuss whether you need this drink with your healthcare provider.
Electrolytes are minerals that are essential for our health since they help carry out a vast range of vital bodily functions, including hydration, muscle contractions, pH balance, and nerve signaling. To work the way they should, our bodies need to maintain proper levels of fluid and electrolytes at all times. Drinks like coconut water, milk, fruit juice, as well as specific electrolyte sports beverages can all contribute to hydration and help you maintain electrolyte balance.
Even though for most people, a healthy diet and adequate water intake are enough to maintain good electrolyte levels, some people require supplements to avoid dehydration. These are professional athletes and sick people who have lost too much fluid. However, you can also check yourself, drink lots of water, and eat healthy food to identify whether you need to add an electrolyte beverage to your routine.